Stories of Struggle and Success in Our Schools

We are parents, teachers, students and community members with stories to tell. We want to rise above the politics and news headlines and talk about what’s working and what needs to improve for Chicago’s kids.

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Students Don’t Learn From Suspensions But Restorative Justice Offers Opportunity

For the last few years, Chicago Public Schools has been working hard to change its discipline policies and practices to reduce suspensions and expulsions. Instead, the district is encouraging principals and teachers to use restorative justice practices such as peace circles, conversations to restore relationships and formal letters of apology to repair harm and restore community. This shift is essential.…

My Neighbor Died Because He Struggled to Read. “Hard Words” Explains Why He Missed Out.

If you care about kids, take some time this week and spend the 52 minutes it takes to listen to Emily Hanford’s new radio documentary from American Public Media, “Hard Words.” Then get mad enough to make waves about changing the way we teach reading—both to kids, and to teachers. Hanford’s piece details the sad fact that the truce that…

This Week in CPS: Take a Free Field Trip on the CSO, Activate Go CPS and Hear Tales from Robeson HS

To celebrate the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 100th anniversary season, Chicago Public Schools can get free bus service and free tickets to selected concerts. Details here. The lineup of concerts includes opportunities to hear Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Benjamin Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.” Most shows are recommended for grades K-5 It’s Not Too Early to…

Chicago Educators Are #AlwaysLearning

Students are just getting back in the swing in Chicago Public Schools this week. Meanwhile, their teachers and principals have never stopped learning. I talked with a couple of educators whose schools are part of the Network for College Success, where school leaders and teachers work with University of Chicago researchers and coaches to support students through and beyond high…